By Matt Lieberman: WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev is reportedly putting the brakes on a fight with Saul Canelo Alvarez on November 2, as Golden Boy Promotions wants. Kovalev (34-3-1, 29 KOs) took a lot of heavy punishment in his fight last Saturday night against mandatory challenger Anthony Yarde, and it would be too quick of a turnaround for him fight in 10 weeks from now on November 2.
Kovalev will need to start training camp next week
If Kovalev agrees to the date, his training camp would need to start next week. Kovalev was badly hurt by Yarde in the eighth round, and he was almost stopped. Going back into the ring so soon after that kind of fight would be difficult for Kovalev or any fighter. Of course, if Kovalev chooses to have a no sparring camp, he could do it. That kind of a training camp wouldn’t be ideal. Yarde didn’t spar in preparation for the Kovalev fight, and he came up short.
Should Kovalev use the same unorthodox methods of training in order to get the Canelo fight on November 2? It really depends on what Kovalev’s goal is. Does he want to win or is the payday the main focus for this fight? Agreeing to a quick turnaround for the Canelo fight will likely be just the tip of the iceberg for Kovalev. There could be more hoops that Kovalev will need to jump through for him to share the ring with Canelo.
Canelo could move on if Kovalev doesn’t agree to November 2 date
Kovalev is in a bind. Canelo and DAZN both want the November 2 date, and if he turns it down, he could lose out on the fight. There’s a career high payday the 36-year-old Kovalev could miss out on if he rejects fighting the superstar Canelo Alvarez (52-1, 35 KOs) in November. Canelo has other options besides Kovalev for a fight in November.
The top fighters at 160 and 168 would jump at the chance of facing the Mexican star in November. Whether of the big names will be available in that month is unknown. Even if none of them are, Canelo can always go after one of the light heavyweight champions. WBA champ Dmitry Bivol would likely give the green light to face Canelo. November is a bad month for Canelo to go after the winner of the Artur Beterbiev vs. Oleksandr Gvozdyk. Those two are fighting on October 18, and the winner won’t be able to quickly get back into the ring in less than a month to fight Canelo on November 2. Canelo hasn’t expressed interest in fighting Beterbiev, Bivol or Gvozdyk. Even if they were available, he likely won’t attempt to fight any of them. Canelo only wants Kovalev at 175.
Kovalev withstood heavy punishment in Round 8 of grueling fight, and would need to start training next week for eight-week camp in preparation for 175-pound title defense. Quick turnaround, will be interesting to see how this plays out https://t.co/gXnVgqExtn
— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) August 27, 2019
Kovalev will need to give Canelo what he wants
Getting back into the ring in November to fight Canelo is something Kovalev will probably need to agree to if he wants the fight. If Kovalev is less concerned with winning, he can take the fight with Canelo on November 2. This likely won’t be the only advantage that Canelo has going into the fight with Kovalev. It’s probable that Golden Boy Promotions will ask Kovalev to agree to a weight clause during the negotiations. It would likely be a rehydration limit that would top out the amount of weight that both fighters can gain back after making weight. While it would impact both guys, it would obviously have more of a negative effect on Kovalev, because he’s a natural light heavyweight. Nothing has been said about a rehydration limit as of yet, but it’s something that one could expect from Canelo’s side to be asking for.
Andre Ward says Kovalev should take the Canelo fight as a “cash out” match, and sees it as the best option for him. Kovalev won’t make big money fighting the younger lions at 175, and there’s a good chance that he loses to all of them. If money is the main issue for Kovalev, then he can give Canelo what he wants, and whatever else he asks for in order to get the retirement payday.